The Niagara Falls Reporter is a weekly newspaper published in Niagara Falls, New York . It was founded in June 28, 2000 by journalist Mike Hudson. The paper is owned by Frank Parlato, who is also the publisher and editor-in-chief.
The Niagara Falls Reporter was launched on June 28, 2000, by veteran journalist Mike Hudson, who had previously worked for newspapers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York City. Hudson had also previously been a reporter for the Niagara Gazette. Since its launch, the paper's reporting on a wide variety of topics has been cited or linked to by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, along with magazines like Editor & Publisher and web outlets including Salon.
In 2002, the Columbia Journalism Review criticized the paper for paying prostitutes and drug dealers for interviews, using online copy from other publications without permission, using material without attribution and plagiarism by a staff writer.
The Reporter played a central role in the Laborers Local 91 story, in which the entire leadership of the Niagara Falls union pleaded or were found guilty on numerous federal charges of extortion and racketeering. The case resulted in Hudson being the only journalist subpoenaed to testify in the trials. The paper also uncovered evidence that began a federal investigation and subsequent indictment of former Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello on charges of public corruption.
The Reporter published a series of articles from late 2008 through 2010 on the twin leases that the Maid of the Mist boat tour company had with the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) in both Ontario and New York. The Reporter was the first paper to publish the terms of the leases and to report that the NPC secretly reduced the rent while excluding other bidders. In late 2009, the minister of tourism for the province of Ontario ordered the Maid of the Mist's lease to be offered to external bidders for the first time in the history of Niagara Parks.
In 2011, the city council of Niagara Falls voted to endorse the Niagara Falls Reporter as the council's weekly newspaper for publishing its public announcements as well as any other matters the council wishes to be printed or published.
The Calleri and Parlato dispute
After Frank Parlato became the owner of the Niagara Falls Reporter in 2012, Michael Calleri, its long-time volunteer movie critic, said he was forced to quit writing for the publication. He explained his problems with Parlato in a post written for Roger Ebert's blog on the Chicago Sun-Times website. Calleri said that Parlato had a fear of empowered women and of films depicting them. Calleri included an excerpt from an email in which Parlato had written: "I don't want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta. where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females. i believe in manliness."
Parlato published an editorial on the Niagara Falls Reporter website in response. He said that he gave Calleri an option to write about local entertainment or to write reviews of movies that had an inspiring influence on adolescents. In an article later published in the Toronto Star, Parlato was quoted as saying, "It is the right of Hollywood to market promiscuous sex, violence and profanity, not only to adults but to adolescents. I operate a small newspaper in Niagara Falls and it is my right not to review Hollywood movies."
The controversy made headlines on blogs and in newspapers across the U.S. and was discussed on an episode of CBS This Morning that featured Calleri as a guest. Buffalo, New York's weekly newspaper Artvoice, published Alan Bedenko's scathing blog post on the dispute entitled "The Niagara Falls Reporter and Gynophobia". In the post, Bedenko included citations to misogynistic writing on two of Parlato's previous websites, manliness.org and manmaking.com. Three years later, Parlato acquired a 51 percent ownership stake in ArtVoice and appointed himself as editor-in-chief.